You should find out what type of camera they expect you to bring to the class.

I would guess they would prefer a camera that has some manual controls so that they could demonstrate all aspects of exposure.

There are about a double hand-full of cameras that has those manual controls.
Aperture Priority
Shutter Priority
Full Manual
Program AE

Here are such cameras that are available in your price range:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare_post.asp?method=sidebyside&cameras=canon_sx20is%2Ccanon_sx120is%2Ccanon_sx200is%2Cfuji_finepixs1500%2Cfuji_finepixs2000hd%2Ckodak_z950%2Ckodak_z980%2Cnikon_cpp90%2Cnikon_cpp6000&camsel=nikon_cpp6000&show=all

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare_post.asp?method=sidebyside&cameras=panasonic_dmcfx500%2Cpanasonic_dmcfx580%2Csony_dsch20&show=all

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